Twenty years experience of working with ambitious and budding entrepreneurs tells us that there are critical points in the calendar year when individuals take a critical view at their business and very specifically what they want from their efforts. Christmas and the New Year is a massive time for reflection, this manifests into questions like:
- Am I getting the best out my business in terms of its potential?
- Have I got the right people doing the right things?
- Should I leave my well-paid job and pursue the business idea that’s burning inside me?
- Should I go for growth and seek investment?
- Should I now start to plan my exit and pursue new opportunities?
- Which new markets should I tackle?
- How do I improve my leadership skills?
Part of the challenge with setting new direction is that insufficient time is spent on thinking through how we execute, in other words how we make the new goals come to life. Being truthful with ourselves is equally important, are our ambitions ‘stated’ or ‘genuine’?
Business growth and success flows only from ‘genuine ambition’ – talking about what you’ve done and doing rather than what you intend to do. Too many entrepreneurs fail to hard wire their goals into tactical plans that focus on hard work, activity and doing – a statement of the obvious but as Sherlock Holmes said to his partner – ‘Watson my dear friend the obvious can be extremely deceptive’
Going into 2020, we would urge you to think about your new goals, aims and intentions. Ask yourself, are they hard wired into your mindset and are they real? Have you written them down and created a detailed execution plan as to what you are going to do every day to make them happen. If you fail to address the detail, don’t be surprised to find you’ve not moved on – many entrepreneurs sleep walk into the year and before they know it – summer holidays!
To help you think through your strategy for 2020, think about you and your business across 6 critical areas
- Personal Intention – What does success mean for you? How much do you want to earn? How much do you want to sell your business for? What makes you happy? Can you afford to leave your job and pursue your business venture?
- Growth Story – where are the opportunities? New markets? New products? Is my order book strong? If not what needs to change?
- Company brand and reputation? What is our unique position in the market? What do our customers think of us? How do I build a strong personal and business brand?
- Your team – you can’t do it on your own. Have a got the right people around? Where are the gaps in? How do you fill them?
- Finance – have you got your financial plans in place? Are you on top of cash? How much cash do you need? Working capital, is there enough? Be sure to ruthlessly manage your finances?
- Housekeeping – Be sure you’re communicating with staff, putting meeting structure/board meeting in place, keep on top of regulatory things, the stuff most of us find boring. Great companies believe in good housekeeping and communication.
Building and growing a business is difficult, it requires hard work, determination, mental toughness and commercial acumen. Success flows from personal and business clarity. Make 2020 a great one and execute the Winning Pitch philosophy of success is built upon 20% thinking and 80% doing. Make it happen!